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WELLESLEY, Massachusetts – In what was the largest gathering to date in the Mass Golf era, nearly 200 family members, friends, players and officials came together Tuesday night to celebrate the many successful champions from the 2018 Mass Golf season, hear from the Bay States three most recent USGA national champions and officially help turn the page to 2019 for what will undoubtedly be another milestone year.
Led by Master of Ceremonies Mike Dowling, who was also recognized as the 2018 Andrew J. Blau Volunteer of the Year Award recipient, the Mass Golf Champions Dinner at Wellesley Country Club was the opportunity to once again relive all the exciting moments from the past year, including recognizing those who found success on the local amateur circuit in Mass Golf’s Championship, Women’s Championship, and tournament play during the season.
Additionally, it was the opportunity to hear from select major winners, including three-time reigning Massachusetts Open champion, Jason Thresher, who was making his first ever appearance at the Champions Dinner, as well as first-time Amateur and Women’s Amateur champions Patrick Frodigh and Shannon Johnson, two-time Christopher Cutler Rich Junior Player of the Year James Imai and two-time George M. Cohen Senior Player of the Year, Frank Vana, Jr.
The additional champions, the majority of the 83 total Mass Golf champions who were crowned during the six month competitive season in 2018, were recognized in a short video presentation that highlighted all the victories – both large and small – accomplished on many of the 360 Mass Golf member clubs during the season.
“Having so many of our champions together for one night to celebrate each other’s accomplishments is a testament to the strong golf community that we have here in Massachusetts,” said Jesse Menachem, Executive Director/CEO. “We are grateful that so many individuals traveled from far and near, gave up important time and rearranged schedules in order to be a part of the evening’s events.”
Following the short presentation, which also included a nod to representatives behind the scenes, such as City of Boston officials Dennis Roache, Scott Allen, and Len Curtin, who helped secure both the Amateur Championship and Women’s Amateur Championship at municipal courses, for the first time ever nonetheless, the audience was able to hear firsthand of the experiences of three of the Bay States national champions – 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur and 2018 U.S. Open co-low amateur Matt Parziale, 2018 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Shannon Johnson and 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Michael Thorbjornsen.
In a question and answer type format, the three USGA champions were given the floor to speak about their experiences on the national stage, and all three discussed how being a part of the Mass Golf community helped them find success against many of the world’s top amateur golfers.
While the event marked the final Mass Golf highlight from the 2018 season, all eyes, and conversations, quickly shifted to the 2019 season, which will begin when registration goes live for all Mass Golf Championship and Women’s Championship events on February 7.